Dhaka to submit report on action plan Tuesday for GSP restoration

Dhaka to submit report on action plan Tuesday for GSP restoration


The government will submit a progress report on ‘Bangladesh Action Plan 2013’ to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) by Tuesday though the review for reinstating Bangladesh’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits still looks uncertain. The legal authorisation for the GSP programme expired on July 31, 2013 and the US Congress is considering a legislation that would extend the authorisation of GSP beyond this date, according to the USTR. As long as the GSP programme remains with no

authorisation, there will be no public hearing and no request for
public comments for the ongoing GSP country and product reviews and no
final disposition of these reviews. “We’ll send the progress report
by April 15 (Tuesday),” Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told UNB on
Saturday mentioning that he cannot tell about possible hearing or
review on GSP restoration soon. Asked whether the progress is
satisfactory, the Commerce Secretary declined to make comment at this
stage. Another official at the Commerce Ministry said an
inter-ministerial meeting might be called for Sunday to give the final
shape to the progress report. The Commerce Ministry might send the
report to the Bangladesh Mission in Washington, if not sent directly
to the USTR, and Bangladesh mission will send it to the USTR.
Voicing satisfaction over the progress on GSP Action Plan, Commerce
Minister Tofail Ahmed reiterated that Bangladesh would get back GSP
benefit in the US market if politics is not associated with the
restoration process. US Ambassador Dan Mozena, on his return from US
tour recently, said there has been progress but much more needs to be
done. On March 25, US Senator Robert Menendez, in a letter to BGMEA
President M Atiqul Islam, said, “As Chairman of the Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations and a member of the Senate Committee on Finance,
I cannot support the renewal or expansion of Bangladesh’s GSP benefits
as long as union organizers and members are subject to harassment,
intimidation, and violence from BGMEA factory owners and managers.”
On June 27, 2013, US President Barack Obama announced his decision to
suspend Bangladesh’s trade benefits under the GSP in view of
insufficient progress by the Bangladesh government in affording
Bangladeshi workers internationally-recognised worker rights. The US
government encouraged Bangladesh to take significant actions to
provide a basis for reinstating Bangladesh’s GSP benefits, including
by implementing commitments under the “National Tripartite Plan of
Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity” and taking a number of
steps. – UNB


Comments are closed.